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Science & Technology

Teenager builds his own replacement arm

February 8, 2019 | Comment icon 17 comments



You really can build a new arm out of Lego. Image Credit: YouTube / Hand Solo / David Aguilar
19-year-old bioengineering student David Aguilar has used Lego to build his own robotic prosthetics.
Born without a right forearm due to a rare genetic condition, Aguilar, who is a student at the International University of Catalonia, wanted to find an affordable way to build robot arms.

He ultimately decided to use Lego bricks.

"As a child I was very nervous to be in front of other guys because I was different, but that didn't stop me believing in my dreams," he said.

"I wanted to... see myself in the mirror like I see other guys, with two hands."
His first design, which was red and yellow and named 'Mark I' after Tony Stark's Iron Man suit, featured a bendable elbow and a grabbing hand that he could use to pick up objects.

He has since built several other, increasingly sophisticated iterations.

His main goal is to make affordable robotic arms available to anyone who needs them.

"I would try to give them a prosthetic, even if it's for free, to make them feel like a normal person, because what is normal, right ?" he said.

You can see in more detail how his robotic arm designs actually work in the video below.



Source: CNET.com | Comments (17)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 3 years ago
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Comment icon #9 Posted by Seti42 3 years ago
That's really cool. And I'm impressed he can build succinctly with Lego while only having one hand.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Chaldon 3 years ago
Wow!
Comment icon #11 Posted by bogdan9310 3 years ago
To a place where machines do our work for us. It starts with replacing an arm, a piece here and there. Until they will replace us alltogether.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Rlyeh 3 years ago
Um, that's why they were invented...
Comment icon #13 Posted by freetoroam 3 years ago
You mean robots? But there is a difference between inventing a robot to build, to someone needing a  prosthetic arm.  Robots can only do so much. We can never be fully replaced, it would be unwise to try to replace all jobs by robots when there is a big population of humans. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by paperdyer 3 years ago
He can still patent it.  The material used doesn't matter.  The patent would be a design patent.  Any improvements by himself or other people would also be patentable with potential royalties going to him if some aspect of the original design is unique enough to have its own design patent.
Comment icon #15 Posted by freetoroam 3 years ago
Patent it? Its lego ffs. See post #2, he has build many others. There are already some pretty amazing prosthic arms already our. He is going to have his work cut out to beat them.
Comment icon #16 Posted by paperdyer 3 years ago
He can't patent the Legos but he can patent the use of the Lego pieces into his arm. He can get design patents as his use of Lego pieces is "Novel"  Any novel use is one not thought of before.  You can also get patents on improving an already patented product.  If your improvement violates the first patent if it's still in force, you can't make your improvement without a licence.  If you improve your own design, you can get a new patent.  This happens all the time.  I did it myself years ago. I took two existing chemicals and used them together to improve a process.  I got the patent and the c... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by bogdan9310 3 years ago
They don't care about that, progress at any cost. They are still pushing it, without thinking of the consequences.


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